How I Trained a Golden Doodle to Stop Fence FightingA Case Study on Positive Reinforcement and Behavior Modification Techniques for Dog Training
Did you know that fence fighting is one of the most common and frustrating behavioral problems that dog owners face? According to a survey by the American Pet Products Association, 44% of dog owners reported that their dogs barked excessively at other dogs or people through fences or windows. Not only is this behavior annoying and noisy, but it can also lead to aggression, anxiety, and injury for both dogs and owners.
But what if I told you that there is a simple and effective way to stop fence fighting without using any harsh or negative methods? In this case study, I will show you how I helped a golden doodle named Rex overcome his fence fighting habit with positive reinforcement techniques. You will learn how I taught him two easy commands that changed his behavior and attitude towards his neighbor’s dog, Scooter. You will also see how I collaborated with Scooter’s owner to create a cooperative and consistent training program that benefited both dogs and owners.
By the end of this case study, you will have a better understanding of what causes fence fighting, how to prevent it, and how hiring me as a professional dog trainer can make it much easier for you to solve it. You will also discover how you can enjoy a more peaceful and harmonious relationship with your dog and your neighbors. So let’s get started!
Rex is a lovable, energetic golden doodle who loves to explore and play. But he also had a bad habit of fence fighting with the neighbor’s dog, Scooter. Every time they saw each other through the fence, they would bark and lunge at each other, creating a lot of noise and stress for both owners.
Michelle, Rex’s owner, was desperate to find a solution. She contacted Cyndi, a certified professional dog trainer who specialized in positive reinforcement techniques. Cyndi taught Michelle how to teach Rex two simple commands: “Rex” meant “look at me” and “Inside” meant “go in the back door and get a treat”. She also reached out to Sue, Scooter’s owner, and convinced her to join the training program.
After several months of consistent practice and cooperation, Rex and Scooter learned to stop barking and come inside when they heard their names. The fence fighting was reduced to a minimum, and both dogs and owners were happier and more relaxed.
- Territoriality: Dogs may feel threatened by other dogs invading their space or territory.
- Frustration: Dogs may feel frustrated by the barrier that prevents them from interacting with other dogs.
- Boredom: Dogs may lack mental and physical stimulation and use fence fighting as a way to release their energy and excitement.
- Reinforcement: Dogs may find fence fighting rewarding or fun, especially if they get attention or reactions from other dogs or humans.
Cyndi’s client Michelle loved her golden doodle, Rex, but she had a big problem. Rex loved to fence fight with his neighbor’s dog, Scooter. Every time they saw each other through the fence, they would bark and lunge at each other, creating a lot of noise and stress for both owners.
Michelle was desperate to find a solution. She was worried that Rex would injure himself or damage the fence. She was also concerned about annoying her neighbors or getting into trouble with the authorities. She had tried yelling at Rex, using treats to lure him inside, or distracting him with toys, but nothing worked. He would always go back to barking and fighting as soon as he saw Scooter.
She wanted to stop fence fighting and help Rex become more relaxed and happy. But she also needed to work with her neighbor, Sue, who owned Scooter. Sue was not very cooperative or friendly at first. She didn’t think that fence fighting was a big deal, and she didn’t want to change anything about her dog’s routine or behavior. She also didn’t trust Cyndi’s methods or expertise.
Michelle and Cyndi had to convince Sue to join the training program and cooperate with them. They had to show her the benefits of positive reinforcement techniques and how they could improve both dogs’ well-being and happiness.
Cyndi, a certified professional dog trainer, used positive reinforcement to help Rex stop fence fighting with Scooter, the neighbor’s dog. She signed Rex up for her 3-week “Restart” Day Training program, where she taught him basic skills and provided him with mental stimulation. She then taught him two simple commands: “Rex” meant “look at me” and “Inside” meant “go in the back door and get a treat”. She used treats as rewards to motivate and reinforce Rex’s behavior.
She also reached out to Sue, Scooter’s owner, and convinced her to join the training program. She taught Sue how to call Scooter inside when he barked at Rex, and how to reward him with treats as well. She explained that using treats was not bribery or rewarding the barking, but rather rewarding the correct behavior of stopping barking and coming inside. She also showed Sue how positive reinforcement could make Scooter happier and more obedient.
She coached Michelle, Rex’s owner, to practice and reward Rex’s good behavior consistently. She also gave her tips on how to prevent and manage fence fighting in the future. After several months of consistency and cooperation, both dogs learned to stop barking and come inside when they heard their names. The fence fighting was reduced to a minimum, and both dogs and owners were happier and more relaxed.
Positive Reinforcement Behavior Modification:
The Key to Solving Rex’s Fence Fighting Issue
- Attention: I taught Rex to look at my client when she called his name “Rex”. This would help him focus on his owner instead of other distractions.
- Recall: I taught Rex to come when called by my client. This would help him disengage from fence fighting and return to his owner’s side. However, I didn’t use the traditional “Come” cue. Instead, I taught him a new cue “Inside” which is specifically used to call Rex to go inside the house.
- Reduced Barking 80% 80%
- Attention 100% 100%
- Come When Called 80% 80%
- Happy & Calm 100% 100%